So we didn't get to finishing the skill tree, as we're still talking about how to set it up to make it simple, fair and powerful (which is a tall order) but we're getting closer!
So instead, I've decided to tell you about one of the new mechanics. Please comment about what you think or ask any questions you might have!
Dice Rolls are exciting. You come up with an idea, and you REALLY want it to work. Then you roll, and see what happened!
But sometimes rolls don't make sense. You can end up with a character who is a total expert at something who misses something easy for apparently no reason. Sure, that CAN happen, but sometimes it happens a little too often to make sense.
How can we fix it so the dice are a little less random?
Every task you take in the world has a certain difficulty. How difficult that thing is is represented by a Difficulty Number, or a DN. The DN is the number you have to roll (or higher) in order to accomplish that task.
Some tasks are so easy you don't even have to roll. Like tying your shoe or opening a door, it doesn't have to be rolled because it's 100% chance of success. You could also argue that if your ninja is sneaking past a regular civilian, that you wouldn't need a roll because its so unlikely a regular person would catch you.
I'm not sure if we're gonna roll d20 or 2d6, but in either case, the basic DN will be a number that lands around 40% of the time. For now, let's say d20, so the target DN for most tasks is a 12.
The more difficult a task is, the higher the number is. Let's say you want to convince a village guard to let you in, that DN would be 14. Let's say you want to sneak past a sleeping Kage, that's probably a 16.
Advantages and Disadvantages
So how do we change that DN?
Part of it is stats. The better your character is at something, the higher their rank, the lower the DN. A Genin trained in ninjutsu has a DN of 10 in that skill, a Chuunin 8, a Jounin 6, and an S-Rank 4. This makes sense, because the amount of skill and practice for an action becomes easier, less chance of failure.
You can also create ADVANTAGES based on the scene.
Example: A Genin leaps down behind a guard and goes to punch them in the back of the head to knock them out. The Genin is trained in Taijutsu, so the base DN is 10. But! The Genin snuck behind the guard, which means that it should be easier to knock him out. The Genin gets to LOWER the DN to 9.
You would explain that in your roll spoiler:
(The DN is 10, but because Ninjaman snuck up from behind, its a 9.)
You could create as many ADVANTAGES as makes sense for the scene. You could use teamwork, creative uses of the environment, NPCs, whatever you wanted to help you lower the DN to an easier level.
Sometimes though, there are DISADVANTAGES, things that raise the DN. Being untrained in a skill is one obvious thing (the DN to using medical ninjutsu when you're not a mednin would probably be a 20). But other things come to mind.
Shooting a ninjutsu at multiple targets raises the DN. A Genin can shoot a fireball at one guy no problem, but shooting it at two is a little harder, so it raises the DN from 10 to 11. For every additional person they try to hit with the technique, the higher the DN. Genin wants to hit 4 people? That's a DN of 13.
"But why, I could write a jutsu that creates a WIDESPREAD flame and that would hit everyone easily and that's only C-rank blah blah blah."
Balance, people. Balance.
A Jounin hitting 4 people with a technique in a single turn wouldn't be that hard. They have a base of 6, you're only adding 3 to DN, which is 9, still greater than a 50% chance of landing that. PLUS, if you create the correct ADVANTAGES, then you can negate that.
A Jounin wants to hit four people with a lightning attack. They are armored guards.
Base is DN 6, plus 3 for the number of targets which is 9. But, they're wearing armor, which will attract the lightning, so you can lower down to 8. Your partner throws a splash of water at them, which also attracts lightning (7) but also pushes them closer together making it easier to hit (6 again).
See, by using teamwork and thinking things out, the Jounin was able to remove their negatives of multiple targets to land that hit.
Will there be rules for DN?
Some guidelines, yes. Once we figure out which rolling system we will use we will probably limit the amount of advantages you can cram into a single move (DNs lower than 4 are just wayyyy too easy.) We will also put in examples.
If you are doing a PvP thread and think your opponent is being too liberal with their DN alterations, then you will be able to call a battle judge to declare what the DN should be for that move. Major wars and duels will have a battle judge for their entirety, so things don't slow down.